Reading list 2009 (preliminary): FDD3001: Research - Theory, Method, Practice, and DD2205

The course package follows the agreement between publishers and Swedish Universities: They are accessible to course participants from KTH domains. You are not allowed to put copies on the global web.

Course Book: Method

You should read one of the following, depending on your background and interests,

Hoffman et al is recommended for students in Scientific Computation:

Ann Oakley:
Experiments in Knowing:

Gender and Method in the Social Sciences.
New York: The New Press, 2000.

J. Hoffman, C. Johnson, A. Logg: Dreams of Calculus
Perspectives on Mathematics Education
Springer 2004, XIII, 158 p., Softcover ISBN: 978-3-540-21976-7

Course Compendium

Classical philosophy of science:

1: Thomas Kuhn, with the Paradigm

2: Paul Feyerabend, the Anarchist

3: Lyotard: The Post Modern Condition.
Lyotard was the first to identify the 'third phase' of the University system, where the concept of education is replaced by marketable skills, 'the commodificaton of knowledge'.

4: Rene Thom: Modern Mathematics: An educational and Philosophical Error? in Tymoczko: New directions in the Philosophy of Mathematics, Birkhauser 1986.

5: Ann Oakley (2000) Experiments in Knowing: Gender and Method in the Social Sciences. New York: The New Press. pp 23-43.

6: Aristotle: Nichmachean Ethics Book VI

Rhetoric and Ethos

7: Language and ideas, from Ibn Khaldun, Muqaddimah VI:55(1380)
Khalil on Khaldun

8: Paul, Charney and Kendall: Moving beyond the moment: Reception studies in the rhetoric of science. Journal of Professional communication.

The phrasing of a paper can have profound effect on its ability to be remembered. Several examples of inspirations to Nobel prize papers seem to have been unawarded mainly because of the author's reluctance to make bold rhetorical claims - which involves a risk if the claim is not eventually accepted by the community and may also make it more difficult to publish. A paper must create a space in the orld of ideas of the discipline, and then fill it, to be remembered.

9: M. Nussbaum: Cultivating Humanity, pp 1-15.
The humanities in liberal arts colleges see themselves as instrumental in forming good citizens of modern society.

10: Josef Ben-David: Scientific Growth, 1991, University of California Press. Ch 23: The Ethos of Science (1980). Ben-David spent his research career studying systems of learning and research. He analyzes the components of scientists ambitions relative to society, maybe without reaching a definite conclusion.

11: E.M. Forster: The Machine Stops Oxford and Cambridge Review, Nov 1909
Voted one of the best short stories up to 1965
Anticipates the existentialist and environmentalist streaks in philosophy of Technology (Heidegger, Naess, Borgmann).

Microsociology of Science

12: Latour: Science in Action. Ch 1 :
Here we get a view of what an anthropologist can find in a high-tech molecular biology lab. Classical and controvesial.

13: A. Warwick: Masters of Theory, 2003 University of Chicago Press. pp 1-15.
This is a study of how the Cambridge mathematical physics developed from an environment of a seminar for priests and into a center of Scientific learning. Confirms Feyerabend and Kuhn in its analysis of the acceptance, without truly convincing evidence, of the theories of relativity in Cambridge. Also an account of how practice-based work can lead to mathematical results of lasting value, an interesting case being Poynting's trip from the horrors of the Tripos to the discovery of his method to account for the energy in an electromagnetic field, Poynting's vector, which is now one of many tools used to develop sustainable energy systems, e.g., by Leijon's group in Uppsala.

14: Gross, Levitt: Higher superstition p 57-62.
After the end of the cold war, scientists became more and more entrenched by researchers in the humanities of American Universities, who did not seem to give them the central place in research they had earned. This extract gives their view of Bruno Latour, currently one of the most influential, quick-witted and heretic philosophers/anthropologists of science and technology. The book, Higher Superstition, can be seen as the call to arms in the 'science wars' of the 1990:s.

15: Review of Readings
by Cramer

16: Bill Readings: The University in Ruins. 1996. Introduction.

Reading for seminars (preliminary)

17: Wikipedia: (J. Hoffman), d'Alembert's paradox

20:Dourish: Implications for Design

Law, Ethics

21: AMC Research Code (extract, revised version).

University Laws and Statutes(Swedish)


Authorship Guidelines
Authorship Guidelines, Background
Campbell Collaboration
Cochrane Collaboration

The race for Life - Heredity and Evolution(elective)


Mendel and Genetics

Evolutionary Synthesis

Discovery of DNA

DNA is Genetic Substance

Watson, Crick: Nature vol 171, April 25, 1953

Linus Pauling and the race for DNA,

Intelligent Design

Some philosophers

Bertrand Russell

Karl Popper

Ludwig Wittgenstein